One of my most popular posts is an article I wrote about singer Robin Zander’s mysterious country-ish solo album. That record, COUNTRYSIDE BLVD, is a solid effort from one of rock’s more interesting frontmen (Zander is the lead singer of Cheap Trick). I wouldn’t call it great, but it’s pleasant enough, and yet people will not stop contacting me about this record. So what’s so special about COUNTRYSIDE BLVD? Well, due to murky record label shenanigans, the album has never been properly released.
Well, that’s not true…the album has been released on a variety of digital music platforms (like Amazon’s music store) only to be yanked down time and again after being available for only a few hours. Thus, 99.99% of Zander’s fans have only heard the album in pieces or through bootleg copies. It was recently announced on Zander’s (amazingly cartoonish) website that a live album of this material is going to be released…soon. How strange is that? A live album coming out when the proper album is not? Clearly this is case is a textbook, quintessential, case of the darkside of the record industry/music biz if there was one.
I acquired a copy of the album (digitally, natch) through a hardcore Cheap Trick fan/podcaster who shall remain nameless. I don’t approve to illegal downloading, after all I’m the rube who buys CD’s and pays for Spotify (well, I used to at least, till my finances took a tumble when I relocated). That said, when something is not made available for the public to buy, I don’t have problem with file sharing. That said, if you download this album from me and it somehow sees the light of day, please buy it. Robin Zander needs all the money he can get to hide that receding hairline.